Early Years Foundation Stage

Our Early Years provision, Little Sailors, comprises of Optimists, Nippers, Toppers, Lasers and Comets, otherwise known as Daycare, Nursery and Reception. We follow the guiding principles of Early Years education as outlined in the Government’s Early Years Foundation Stage for children from birth to five years. We are delighted that the ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) Inspection in September 2018 recognised the quality of our Early Years provision.

Daycare and Nursery (Optimists - Lasers)

In Daycare and Nursery, flexible sessions are offered from 8.00am to 6.00pm for 51 weeks of the year; 7.30am starts are available by special arrangement. Our Early Years practitioners are highly qualified and experienced. Each child has a Key Person and their development is recorded in an individual Learning Journey which is shared with parents. Children learn through purposeful, planned play activities which are designed to reflect their individual learning needs and interests.  

The children enjoy a wide variety of weekly activities which include messy play, free play, role play and music and movement sessions. Throughout the year the children are involved with Prep School events, which include Harvest Assembly, the Nativity, International Days and the Easter Hat Parade. Little Sailors children also enjoy their own Sports Day in the Summer Term.  

The children have daily access to beautiful enclosed gardens with age-appropriate outdoor toys, as well as making good use of the School’s extensive grounds.   

The Curriculum

Sessions are designed to enable children to become happy, motivated and engaged learners. The curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage framework:

  • The Unique Child
  • Positive Relationships
  • Enabling Environments
  • Learning and Development

We provide daily adult-led activities for all the children in our care, which focus on each child’s current stage of development based around the seven areas of learning within the Early Years Foundation Stage:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

When children reach pre-school age and are ready for more structured educational sessions alongside their free play activities, they are introduced to specialist sessions in phonics, ballet, cookery, French, Music and PE, and will begin to use more of the Prep School facilities. They eat lunch in the Conservatory with the rest of the School and enjoy short visits to the Library.  

Reception (Comets)

Reception is the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the first of their formal school education. Continuing to build their cognitive, physical, creative and emotional development through play-based learning, the children engage in a balance between child-initiated and teacher-led lessons throughout the school day. Each class has a maximum of 18 pupils, with a highly qualified and experienced teacher and a full-time Teaching Assistant. Specialist lessons are delivered in French, Music, Sport (including Ballet, Ball Skills and Swimming) and Computing.

The Reception children are integrated fully into the life of the whole school, attending Assemblies, Prize Day, Sports Day and other special events. Lunch is eaten with their teachers and other children in the Conservatory, after which they play outside on the field with the rest of the school. Morning break times are spent in a safely enclosed garden which has a fabulous array of outdoor resources, including their very own play ship, HMS Blazer. They really do have the best of both worlds!